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Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014)
See Top Ranked Over-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (2014)

Analysis:

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) is one of the very best Over-Ear Headphones that one can get for around $1,300. The Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014), however, while a very good choice at its $160 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) was loved by reviewers at Rtings, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020" roundup where it was named its "Best Wired Headphones For Audiophiles", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

As for our Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) analysis - two highly trusted sources that perform well-thought-out hands-on testing have found it to be a great product - it earned the "Best value" and "Best Audiophile Closed-Back Headphones" awards from SoundGuys and Rtings, respectively, which is quite an impressive feat.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Over-Ear Headphones, Expert Reviews, What Hi-Fi?, and Head-fi preferred the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016), whereas reviewers at Rtings liked the Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) better. TrustedReviews gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) rating came from Expert Reviews, whereas the Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) most impressed reviewers at Pocket-lint; they earned scores of 10 and 10, respectively.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Over-Ear Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Over-Ear Headphones being 7.5 out of 10, whereas the Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) and Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) managed averages of 8.9 and 8.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs. Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Rtings
AVForums
SoundGuys
Wirecutter
Expert Reviews
Android Central
Head-fi
TrustedReviews
Android Authority
CNET
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016)
$1,687
Audio-Technica ATH M50x (2014)
$169
Closed-back
-
Yes
Noise-cancelling
No
No
Open-back
Yes
-
Over-ear
Yes
Yes
Wireless
No
No
Higher than average expert review score
7.6
Overall Avg. for Over-Ear Headphones
8.9
Avg. Review Score
Score
Higher than average expert review score
Recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Audiophile Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Open-Back
in “Best Sennheiser Headphones in 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best open-back headphones
in “Best headphones 2020: Get great sound from as little as £30” 
Last updated: 2 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Open-Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best open-back headphones under £2,000
in “Best over-ear headphones 2020: The best Bluetooth, noise-cancelling and wired headphones in the UK” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 25 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones
in “The 7 Best Over-Ear Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Audiophile Headphones
in “The 7 Best Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones For Soundstage
in “The 7 Best Headphones For Music - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 14 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones For Mixing
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Studio Headphones For Mixing And Recording - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Style
in “Best studio headphones” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Accessories for Daydream” 
Last updated: 13 May 2017
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Headphones of 2014” 
Last updated: 8 Nov 2014
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Over-Ear Headphones Under $250 of 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Sep 2019
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 5 Best DJ Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best value
in “Best DJ headphones” 
Last updated: 7 Apr 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great wired option
in “Best Headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in 2020” 
Last updated: 6 Mar 2020
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 22
in “The Best Headphones Under $200 of 2020” 
Last updated: 28 Feb 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Closed-Back Audiophile Headphones
in “The 7 Best Audiophile Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #14 out of 28
in “The Best Headphones on Amazon of 2020” 
Last updated: 2 Apr 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Audiophile Closed-Back Headphones
in “The 5 Best Closed Back Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #14 out of 23
in “The Best Headphones of 2020” 
Last updated: 31 Mar 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Audiophile Over-Ear Headphones - More Versatile Alternative
in “The 7 Best Over-Ear Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up: Best Wired Headphones For Audiophiles - Closed-Back Alternative
in “The 7 Best Wired Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 25 days ago
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best over-ear headphones 2020: The best Bluetooth, noise-cancelling and wired headphones in the UK” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Cases” 
Last updated: 30 Nov 2014
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Galaxy S10 in 2020” 
Last updated: 26 Feb 2020
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “12 Accessories to complement your HTC One (M8)” 
Last updated: 23 Sep 2014
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Galaxy S10 Accessories in 2020” 
Last updated: 15 Jan 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 9” 
Last updated: 28 Sep 2018
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Bass Headphones - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 6 Best Headphones Under $200 - Spring 2020” 
Last updated: a month ago
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